The NFL is working through the Week 1 slate with the 1 p.m. ET games a wrap and the afternoon and primetime slates left to be played. While the rest of the schedule plays out, it’s time to start thinking through your fantasy football waiver wire options.
We’ve got a couple days until waivers runs in most leagues, but it’s never too early to figure out your plan. There will be breakout candidates to consider, but there are also injury situations to address.
The most notable injuries in the early part of Week 1 were at the running position. 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell, Steelers RB Najee Harris, and Saints RB Alvin Kamara also dealt with an injury. It’s also worth noting some big names that were inactive this week and will be worth tracking on the injury report the rest of the week.
Below is a rundown of notable skill position injuries, and who stands to benefit as you consider what to do with your waiver wire priority. We’ll update as more players get added to the injury report. And be sure to check back as we provide updates on each injury as new information comes along this week.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
The Cowboys QB suffered an injury to his throwing hand on Sunday and will miss 6-8 weeks after surgery. Cooper Rush will take over for Prescott unless the Cowboys look outside the organization for veteran help. This downgrades all their fantasy options until Rush proves he can make plays. Ezekiel Elliott theoretically will see more work, but he’ll also see more eight-man boxes.
Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
The Bucs receiver was a game-time decision but ended up active. He had three receptions for 35 yards before suffering a hamstring injury in the second quarter. Hamstrings are always trick for receivers, so this will be something to keep an eye on the next couple days. Julio Jones is off to a solid start with the Bucs and is rostered in 42.8% of ESPN leagues.
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
LA’s top pass-catcher went down with a hamstring injury in the first half against the Raiders. He was initially deemed questionable to return but then downgraded to out early in the third quarter. Josh Palmer is the name to consider with only 36.2% of teams rostering him in ESPN leagues. DeAndre Carter managed a touchdown in Week 1 and Jalen Guyton could get some opportunities, but Palmer has the upside of this trio.
Elijah Mitchell, RB, 49ers
Mitchell suffered a knee injury in the second quarter and was immediately ruled out. He wasn’t taken to the locker room before halftime and trainers weren’t working with him after he was ruled out, all of which hopefully bodes well for his knee. But if he’s going to miss any time, Jeff Wilson is the 49ers running back to grab offer waivers.
Jordan Mason is worth grabbing if you’ve got space, and Tyrion Davis-Price is at least worth having on your radar. It feels like every year we see the 49ers rotate through three or four running backs, so there’s some value to looking at the rookies behind Wilson.
Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
UPDATE: After the game, Mike Giardi reported the injury is not considered a big deal moving forward.
The Steelers running back injured his foot late in the fourth quarter and did not come out for overtime. Jaylen Warren is his backup and Benny Snell would also see some work if Harris misses Week 2. Harris is a workhorse but we’d likely see work split up to some degree if he missed any time.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
UPDATE: Kamara said after the game that he’s good, per Nick Underhill. We’ll await further word on Monday to see if it’s going to be worth adding Ingram to rosters.
Kamara went off the field in the final five minutes and someone snapped a photo of him walking to the locker room. We’ll need more information than just that, but start to plan if you have Kamara or are looking for RB help. Mark Ingram would get a boost if Kamara missed any time and is rostered in only 19.7% of ESPN leagues. It’s worth noting that tight end Taysom Hill got a ton of work in all facets of the game, so there could be some flex value there.
Mac Jones, QB, Patriots
UPDATE: X-rays came back negative and Jones will be evaluated when the team gets home, per Tom Pelissero.
The Patriots QB suffered a back injury on Sunday and was not available for media after the game. His status is unclear for Week 2. Brian Hoyer is his backup and Bailey Zappe is the third QB. Neither has any fantasy value.
Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals
Higgins suffered a concussion in the second quarter and will now go through the concussion protocol, and his status for Week 2 won’t be known until later in the coming week.
There’s not much to be grabbed off waivers for the time being, at least as far as receivers are concerned. Ja’Marr Chase is rostered in all leagues and Tyler Boyd is rostered in 71.5% of ESPN leagues. The Bengals backup WRs are Trent Taylor, Mike Thomas, and Stanley Morgan, but none of them is likely to make much of an impact. The best option with any value might be tight end Hayden Hurst, who is only rostered in 19.6% of ESPN leagues.
Harrison Butker, K, Chiefs
The Chiefs kicker injured his ankle on a first quarter kickoff and was taken off the field in a cart. Safety Justin Reid is the emergency kicker and has an extra point and kickoff under his belt. If Butker is going to miss any time, the Chiefs will likely bring in some free agents on Monday to try out.
JK Dobbins, RB, Ravens
Dobbins was ruled out after showing up as questionable on the team’s injury report. It’s not surprising he was inactive as he finishes his ACL recovery, and another week’s absence would make sense. Kenyan Drake served as the team’s starter against the Jets in Week 1, with Mike Davis and Justice Hill each getting two carries. Drake is rostered in 3.9% of ESPN leagues and is worth an add to your bench until Dobbins is cleared.
George Kittle, TE, 49ers
The 49ers deactivated Kittle due to a groin injury and his status for Week 2 is unclear. The 49ers don’t go to the backup TE much with Kittle sidelined, so you’re looking more for wide receiver help. Jauan Jennings was second on the team in targets in Week 1 and is worth a look in deeper PPR leagues.